Larry Conner: Over the past two years, Chad Ernest has served admirably as the president of COPACT. He directed us through many complex political decisions, especially during the busy 2017 legislature. He brought insight, wisdom and energy to the work.
Chad lives out of his values. He works hard for his family and his clients, and he cares deeply about our world. He is the kind of person who has thoughtful opinions about current events all around the globe, and he operates from a perspective of social justice. He also has taken the time to understand how the many pieces of our mental health system work together. This award is a thanks to a worthy man who did hard work on behalf of all of you and all of your clients and made the world a better place over the last two years.
Compiled from *eight* nominations: Since 1991, Dr. Susan Bettis has served as the Clinical Director of William Temple House. She presides over the hands-on education of new counselors while maintaining her organization’s commitment to providing affordable therapy to Portlanders who need it most – without invoking shame. No one is turned away for lack of funds, and no one is asked to prove that they qualify for affordable counseling. Dr. Bettis contributes to the well being of so many in our community. Her streamlined internship program provides weekly seminars in concrete skills such as motivational interviewing, DBT, gerontology, psychopharmacology, and the neurobiology of addiction. She exhibits humane warmth, vast up-to-date scientific knowledge - and utter lack of ego - while gently supporting all who work with her toward being their best selves. Both in her position at WTH and during her 30 years of teaching (at just about every graduate counseling program in the region), Dr. Bettis has shaped and given confidence to generations of therapists. Imagine the ripple effect.
Lisa Aasheim: Gene Eakin has been in the counseling profession for over 40 years and in higher education for two decades. His advocacy and leadership hasn’t been limited to just school counseling, though. Those of you from the rural areas and far corners of Oregon, you should know that Gene Eakin has been busy reminding leaders & educators of your needs for access to quality services, continuing education opportunities, and professional support. He makes sure that the underrepresented are present in spirit, even when they aren’t present in person.
Lessons from Gene: Don’t wait for an invitation. Ask for one. Then show up. When your voice isn’t being heard, gather your to where the work is happening and be a part of it. Dr. Eakin is a leader who does the work. From the office of our state Representatives to the White House Convenings on Strengthening School Counseling, Gene shows up and does the work.